HOW TO START YOUR DAY WITH A POSITIVE OUTLOOK
1. Open a new folder on your computer.
2. Name it "George W. Bush"
3. Send it to the trash.
4. Empty the trash.
5. Your computer will ask you:
"Do you really want to get rid of "George W. Bush?"
6. Firmly Click "Yes."
7. Feel better.
PS: Tomorrow we'll do Dick Cheney......
(P2) PhilosophicalModel For Health Care: Let's Try France
Much has been made of Michael Moore's trip to Cuba on behalf of NYC 9/11 rescue workers who could not get the medical care they needed in the US. Granted this was "theater," but it does raise some interesting questions. The main issue is just where Cuba stands with regard to health care and why it does. Initially, when I viewed the World Health Organization's rankings (below), I was surprised to note that Cuba is ranked 39th, two places behind 37th rated United States. I dug in and found a scholarly article from the Journal Of the Medical Library Association (April 2002). Several things jumped out at me
1. In 2002, the US ranked #24 while Cuba was #33 in the world. Both have dropped since then.
2. However, considering Cuba's meager economic resource, it has "the highest basic life expectancy among all Latin Americans."
Granted, the following from that Journal article is from 2002, so I invite readers to provide more recent research. When I survey the more recent literature quickly, my sense is that health care statistics from the two countries are not too different from each other with exceptions including infant mortality rates and number of physicians per 1000 patients, both categories in which Cuba appears to have a better record.
Cuba, known widely for its excellent health care system, still functions under poor economic circumstances. The annual per capita gross national product in 1995 for Cuba was $1,522, compared to $26,980 for the United States. Yet, the World Health Organization's (WHO's) healthy life expectancy rankings place Cuba as thirty-third worldwide, not far behind the United States' ranking as twenty-fourth. Furthermore, Cuba is fifth in the western hemisphere behind Canada, the United States, Dominica, and Chile in the WHO disability adjusted life expectancy (DALE) rankings, which summarize expected number of years to be lived in what may be termed the equivalent of “full health.” According to these rankings, Cubans have the highest basic life expectancy among all Latin Americans [1–3].
Simply put, therefore, although few of us may want to live in Cuba (Eldridge Cleaver attempted this, became horrified, and moved back to this country), Cuba appears to put its health care priorities far ahead of where our own "rich" country does.
But let's get this straight...The United States of America need not look to Cuba for its model. That's a distraction that Moore's critics will pound on ad infinitum. Rather, I challenge our "leaders" and citizenry to look toward world heath care leaders France, Italy, and Spain as examples of what can and is being done to guarantee the health and welfare of its citizens. It's not an accident that Bush chose to pick on France (recall "freedom fries).
I am calling on each presidential candidate to pledge to refuse their free government health care until every person in this country also has it. I want every candidate who said they'd work for the minimum wage as president to work uninsured, too, until health care is universal. And I want the other candidates to join them. (Yes, I'm looking at you, too, Republicans. I know you can afford to do it.)
Michael Moore on Huffington Post 7-26-07
3 San Marino
18 United Kingdom
26 Saudi Arabia
27 United Arab Emirates
36 Costa Rica
37 United States of America
41 New Zealand
48 Czech Republic
51 Dominican Republic
58 South Korea
67 Trinidad and Tobago
68 Saint Lucia
74 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
76 Sri Lanka
80 Solomon Islands
(In the interest of space, I will spare readers the listing from 81 Algeria to 190 Myanmar)
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Kurt Vonnegut in Breakfast Of Champions:
"He (Kilgore Trout) wrote a novel, for instance, about an Earthling named Delmore
Skag, a bachelor in a neighborhood where everybody else had enormous families.
And Skag was a scientist, and he found a way to reproduce himself in chicken soup.
He would shave living cells from the palm of his right hand, mix them with the soup,
and expose the soup to cosmic rays. The cells turned into babies which looked
exactly like Delmore Skag. "Pretty soon, Delmore was having several babies a day,
and inviting his neighbors to share his pride and happiness. He had mass baptisms
of as many as a hundred babies at a time. He became famous as a family man.
"And so on."
"Skag hoped to force his country into making laws against excessively large
families, but the legislatures and the courts declined to meet the problem
head-on. They passed stern laws instead against the possession by
unmarried persons of chicken soup.
"And so on."
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